ERIC Number: ED232816
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Dec-7
Reference Count: 0
Indians and Aging: You Can Go Home Again.
Weibel-Orlando, Joan C.
"Going home again," a financially secure return to the homeland in old age, is easily accomplished by, and constitutes an economically efficient strategy for, urban American Indian elders if they have maintained their ethnic identity. Emphasis on ethnicity varies with life stage: full immersion in early life, eclipsed ethnicity in middle life, decreased involvement in the public sector and re-intensification of ethnic identity of old age. Alcohol use may also be correlated with age: younger Indians may drink heavily, but by mid-thirties alcohol consumption is reduced, and few Indians over 50 years old drink heavily, as that would be anomalous to culturally viable roles for the elderly, such as shaman, moral leader, or foster parent. For urban Indians, location of significant family members, viable membership in the chosen community, economic pragmatism and availability of health services are explanations for residence choices: remaining in the city or going "back home." A year and a half after returning to the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation, Mrs. Mabel Walking Eagle (pseudonym), who spent 26 years in Los Angeles, has been through stages of re-entry into local life and has attained two culturally appropriate age-set roles: election to the Chapter House council and foster care of two children. (MH)
Descriptors: Age Differences, Alcoholism, American Indians, Biographies, Citizen Participation, Community Attitudes, Cultural Background, Cultural Influences, Ethnicity, Females, Foster Family, Life Satisfaction, Older Adults, Reservation American Indians, Role Models, Role Perception, Social Status, Urban American Indians, Urban to Rural Migration
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Pine Ridge Indian Reservation SD; Sioux (Tribe)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Anthropological Association (81st, Washington, DC, December 3-7, 1982).